The Stories of Ādisōke

Yesterday was a special day. Over several years, Spruce has had the pleasure of working with the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada to develop the brand and visual identity for Ādisōke, their joint facility set to open in 2026. That incredibly rewarding journey culminated yesterday at Ottawa City Hall with the launch of the Ādisōke brand. The brand launch was part of a larger “topping off” celebration to recognize the completion of the concrete pouring for all five floors the building.

“The branding for Ādisōke highlights all that is special about this project,” said Councillor Matthew Luloff. “The land on which it sits, the unique and valued partnership between Ottawa Public Library, Library and Archives Canada and the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, and that we are building a place where all are welcome and belong.”

The building will receive about 1.7 million visitors annually and will feature state-of-the-art archives and library stacks, programming spaces, community services and everything a world-class library has to offer. Its wavy roof mirroring the flow of the Ottawa River on the horizon is set to become an iconic part of the cityscape.

“It is essential that we acknowledge the land on which we stand, as we gather here today,” said Leslie Weir, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. “Close relationships, consultations and collaborations with the host nations from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg and Algonquin Pikwakanagan First Nations helped shape the future of this building. When it opens in 2026, Ādisōke will not just be a building, it will be a testament to the power of collaboration and the importance of listening to diverse voices.”

Kitigan Zibi Anishinābeg Band Councillor Frankie Cote spoke on behalf of Chief Dylan Whiteduck and mentioned that even though he’s lived in the Ottawa since the 1990s, he never saw himself reflected in the city. In Ādisōke, in the recent opening of the William Commanda Bridge and in the renaming of the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway to the Kichi Zībī Mīkan, “we’re starting to see ourselves,” he said.

“The Anishinābe Algonquin Nation looks forward to a positive path forward via Ādisōke,” said Cote. “We fully expect that our Nation’s members will be engaged as active Knowledge Keepers by the Ottawa Public Library within Ādisōke. Our Elders, Knowledge Keepers, storytellers, artists, musicians, cooks, caterers, entrepreneurs and youth must be offered spaces and roles of value in this beautiful facility. We look forward to seeing the ongoing construction of this important national facility in our traditional, unceded territory.”

The name Ādisōke, which means “storytelling” in Anishinaabemowin, was gifted by the Anishinābe Host Nations to the facility. They were essential in the development of the brand and will play integral roles as partners once the facility opens.

Inspired by the gifted name, and working in partnership with advisors from the Host Nations and our clients at OPL, LAC and the City, Spruce developed a brand framework anchored by the tagline: “Stories live here.” Storytelling is one of the five pillars that anchor the brand; the others are Welcoming, Learning, Wonder and Creativity. These ground the brand in a sense of place and acknowledge the stories at the heart of Ādisōke, while the visual identity takes its inspiration from the Kichi Zībī (the Ottawa River), its river stones and the natural world.

To learn more about this incredible building and partnership—and to view the website and video we created to showcase the brand—we invite you to visit www.adisoke.ca.


Joseph Mathieu is an Account Manager and Writer at Spruce.